Starch/Poly(glycerol-adipate) Nanocomposites: A Novel Oral Drug Delivery Device

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


  • Ambra Vestri
  • Amanda K. Pearce
  • Robert Cavanagh
  • Ioanna D. Styliari
  • Carlos Sanders
  • Benoit Couturaud
  • Silvia Schenone
  • Vincenzo Taresco
  • Jakobsen, Rasmus Riemer
  • Steven M. Howdle
  • Francesca Musumeci
  • Domenico Sagnelli

Biocompatible and bio-based materials are an appealing resource for the pharmaceutical industry. Poly(glycerol-adipate) (PGA) is a biocompatible and biodegradable polymer that can be used to produce self-assembled nanoparticles (NPs) able to encapsulate active ingredients, with encouraging perspectives for drug delivery purposes. Starch is a versatile, inexpensive, and abundant polysaccharide that can be effectively applied as a bio-scaffold for other molecules in order to enrich it with new appealing properties. In this work, the combination of PGA NPs and starch films proved to be a suitable biopolymeric matrix carrier for the controlled release preparation of hydrophobic drugs. Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) was used to determine the size of drug-loaded PGA NPs, while the improvement of the apparent drug water solubility was assessed by UV-vis spectroscopy. In vitro biological assays were performed against cancer cell lines and bacteria strains to confirm that drug-loaded PGA NPs maintained the effective activity of the therapeutic agents. Dye-conjugated PGA was then exploited to track the NP release profile during the starch/PGA nanocomposite film digestion, which was assessed using digestion models mimicking physiological conditions. The collected data provide a clear indication of the suitability of our biodegradable carrier system for oral drug delivery.

Original languageEnglish
Article number125
Issue number2
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Biocompatible, Biomaterial, Drug delivery, Nanocomposites, Nanoparticles, Poly(glycerol-adipate), Polymer, Starch

ID: 238741313